Updated Xbox 360 disc format may not work in older consoles

By on May 18, 2011, 11:00 AM

Update: Microsoft just sent us an email to clear up that the disc read issue is tied to a change in the disc reading algorithms in a previous software update -- NOT the upcoming update that has been in beta, as initially reported -- and is NOT specific to older or newer versions of Xbox 360.

-- Original post below

Microsoft is set to push out a software update for the Xbox 360 that will enable consoles to run a modified disc format capable of holding an extra gigabyte of storage compared to current media.

The company announced a public preview program for the new discs back in March, giving those who registered at the Microsoft Connect site a free copy of Halo: Reach, in a disc using the new format so it could collect relevant performance information.

Although for the most part the trial was successful, it seems that the new disc format may not be compatible with older systems. Ironically, most gamers have already traded in their old Xbox 360 consoles at some point due to the infamous red ring issue, but there are still a number of customers who would be affected. Fortunately for them, Microsoft will replace their old units with a brand new Xbox 360 S and offer a free one-year Xbox Live Gold subscription for their trouble.

Microsoft will be rolling out the mandatory update to all Xbox 360 users starting tomorrow through May 30, after which affected users may see a 'disc unreadable' or 'disc unsupported' error on the screen when trying to load a game. Since the company can detect potentially affected consoles over Xbox Live, they have already begun sending out emails to users with instructions on how to claim their replacement console even before they experience any issue.

Additionally anyone who believes their system may be having problems can get in touch via the Xbox Support pages.

Current dual-layer Xbox 360 DVDs can hold just 6.8GB out of a maximum of 7.95GB on a standard dual layer DVD, but the new 'XGD3' format reportedly recaims the remaining space by trimming obsolete anti-piracy measures residing in that section of the disc. Games using the new disc format have yet to be released.




User Comments: 14

Got something to say? Post a comment
Mizzou Mizzou said:

Does this mean I'll be able to get a brand new XBox for my original which is still running ... cool.

Guest said:

Thats very nice of Mike Rowe Soft to swap out consoles to those affected. They are used to that though mind. Must have a truckload of extra consoles at the ready.

Not sure a whole gb of data is worth the effort. Did they miss the bit where bluray kicked hddvd's ***. If they hadnt of been money grubbing and put the hddvd players in the consoles maybe they would of stood a chance. £150 i think they initially hit uk shelves at, external hd dvd player for the xbox 360 which put it in the price range as the PS3 and thats why Sony won that one.

Seriously 1GB.... the hell is the point in that

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

1GB i'd say is a fair sizeable amount to reclaim, luckily I have the very latest xbox 250gb so i should be fine. wished i'd kept hold of an old one now though! does this mean we will see games get longer, bigger and graphically better in the future? damn this generation of consoles are taking a long time to lapse to the next gen

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Man do I hope mine fails...But I have an Jasper Elite so I think my chances are lower :/

Guest said:

I have a feeling people are going to try and exploit the situation. Lots of us have broek xbox's that look like they are in working condition from the out side. People will try and send those in to get a newer one. As a matter of fact, I may try that. If it doesn't work, at least the broken xbox is out of my hair.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Guest said:

Thats very nice of Mike Rowe Soft to swap out consoles to those affected. They are used to that though mind. Must have a truckload of extra consoles at the ready.

Not sure a whole gb of data is worth the effort. Did they miss the bit where bluray kicked hddvd's ***. If they hadnt of been money grubbing and put the hddvd players in the consoles maybe they would of stood a chance. £150 i think they initially hit uk shelves at, external hd dvd player for the xbox 360 which put it in the price range as the PS3 and thats why Sony won that one.

Seriously 1GB.... the hell is the point in that

Ask a developer that question. I'm willing to bet they will appreciate the extra GB of space. You do realize that xbox 360 comes with just a dvd player built in right? And this has NOTHING to do with hd dvd, and they never intended on using hd dvd for their games...the reasons for not going with blu ray are obvious. At the time, blu ray had a much higher cost, which is why ps3 had such a higher launch price. MS wanted to lower the cost of hardware. Also, they would have to pay Sony for the use of blu ray. It would be stupid to even think of switching to a new format that would leave all previous xboxs behind if they did switch to blu ray. This is the best solution for MS in this generation of consoles.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Way to be proactive Microsoft, curious to know how many older units are affected by this firmware update though.

Mizzou said:

Does this mean I'll be able to get a brand new XBox for my original which is still running ... cool.

Guess if you haven't received an e-mail you will find out over the next few days if your system still works fine. I personally have an older 360 myself but not the original, wonder if those will run fine after the update.

Guest said:

I have a feeling people are going to try and exploit the situation. Lots of us have broek xbox's that look like they are in working condition from the out side. People will try and send those in to get a newer one. As a matter of fact, I may try that. If it doesn't work, at least the broken xbox is out of my hair.

Wouldn't surprise me, a free upgrade to a better console plus a free year subscription is a pretty good deal.

BrianUMR said:

It is going to matter what DVD drive you have in your xbox. Since the update will be flashing the firmware on your DVD drive to read the new disc format.

I have a feeling it won't be that easy to game the system since you will need to register your xbox to your account. Its not going to be call CS and tell them your xbox doesn't work. However if you have an OG 360 that doesn't work it might be possible to get a new box.

While sony is getting hack repeatedly MS is giving away free xboxs, interesting. I am an xbox fanboy so take it for what its worth.

BrianUMR said:

@Jose might want to add a picture of the email to the story, link http://media.kotaku.com.au/wp//2011/05/xbox.png

After finding the email, it states that you have to send in your old xbox and they give you a new one.

I wouldn't be surprised to at some point see them reselling these older xboxs at a super discount. Since they could flash them at the factory.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

BrianUMR said:

I wouldn't be surprised to at some point see them reselling these older xboxs at a super discount. Since they could flash them at the factory.

If Microsoft had any sense, this is exactly what they would do. Think about how much money they are losing by replacing consoles and paying for the shipping. They can at least make a fraction of that back by re-selling the old systems at a discounted price. So while they are losing money, at least it won't be as much as if they had just chunked the systems in the trash.

BrianUMR said:

Just saw this

[link]

Story should probably be updated.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I guess it was a good idea that I traded my older Pro model for a new Slim 4gb unit. Especially since it only cost me $30.

BlueDrake said:

Sounds like a lot of interesting news.. I've got a pretty old console which is no doubt one of those old ones. People can say what they want, but I have literally a 1.5GB HD on my 360. This was a "replacement" console from Microsoft a few years ago, so I'm unsure if that's actually one of the affected or not.

Never replaced it or really used it, since most of the time I've been unable to use much. Limited distance between internet + 360 and no wifi support clearly, making it's online usage very sparse.

Guest said:

If Microsoft wants for strategic reasons keep the position of the second power console why don't make a new console right now?

A console with 22 nm chips (12 core cpu, graphics, physics), hd dvd drive, kinect, network adapter with small cpu and memory (for low latency), etc I think it will give and a great boost to pc games too.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.